The announcement of Criteo’s new Work From Home (WFH) policy in December reflected months of intense work and consultation. People Team members Pauline Orfila and Daniel Bieber talk about an initiative that’s counting down the days to be live.
The WFH policy didn’t just appear, did it?
Daniel: Defining a more flexible approach to occasional WFH was a priority on which we had been working in response to a desire expressed by both employees and managers. Then, Covid hit.
Pauline: WFH is now becoming a work model for us all, with employees deciding how to do their work and how to manage their work-life balance. Covid shifted the mindset about a WFH policy, taking it from an HR-driven reflection to a company-wide priority.
What did we learn from the early days?
Daniel: We quickly recognized that not only did we have to switch over to WFH but also that we were able to do it. Everyone had laptops that permitted us to function and, while some things needed to be improved, we saw that many employees were interested into opportunities WFH offers.
Pauline: With the collective shock we all felt from Covid’s arrival, we quickly saw a need to provide psychological support for employees. Also, that they needed additional resources in order to function effectively. Our first surveys confirmed that the overwhelming majority -- more than 90% -- liked WFH but that socializing and spending time together was also important.
So, how did you go forward in developing the policy?
Pauline: We surveyed across the company, knowing that existing approaches to WFH varied widely. We also held focus groups at each region, which provided really useful feedback from employees about what they need from our WFH approach in order to be successful and feel good. Equipment, for example, or monthly WFH allowances to help with internet connections and other utilities. Finally, we collaborated closely with employee representatives, especially in France, in order to design an inclusive policy.
Daniel: It was interesting to see how very similar the needs are. It confirmed to us that we should take a global approach with the policy. It also informed some key themes. Together: Criteos told us they needed more connections with each other, therefore, we went with a recommendation of 2/3 days per week in the office while offering other options. We ask Criteos to meet in the office at least one day per week on average to maintain Criteo’s culture and social connections.
Pauline: Also, flexibility: leaving to each employee to determine what works best for them in performing and feeling good about their job. And, trust: this policy is based on trust and relationship between managers and employees..
While we wait for Covid to lift, what are you doing on the policy in the meantime?
Pauline: We’ve been providing more support for managers, which they can use right now. For example, how to give positive feedback when there aren’t informal opportunities like corridor conversations? Or, how do we make sure we’re encouraging taking of breaks and maintaining a good work-life balance?
Daniel: We’re also encouraging innovations like finding and appreciating new ways to be together. Through cooking classes, games, online team events and lunch & learn sessions, we’re connecting with new people in new ways.
Pauline: As we prepare for the transition, we’re using the time to work on the training and prep for managers. We’re also continuing to survey our employees and make adjustments based on their feedback.
Daniel: It was a big relief to see how well the policy was accepted and employees have told us they appreciate that the policy has already been communicated so that they can plan. I’m optimistic and excited to see it implemented.
Interested in learning more about Criteo's Flexible Work Policy and Philosophy? Click here!